HVTN Responds – Denouncement of Anti-Asian Violence and Hate

A statement by HVTN Leadership

We at the HIV Vaccine Trials Network are outraged by the killings in Atlanta this past Tuesday that targeted women of Asian descent and we mourn in solidarity with the families of the 8 people who were murdered. We stand with the Asian and Pacific Islander communities to denounce all forms of xenophobia, violence, misogyny, and harassment. We also want to explicitly honor the names of the victims: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyeon Jung Grant, Yong Ae Yue, and Suncha Kim.

Six of the eight people lost in yesterday’s attacks were Asian women. Their murders unfortunately appear to be the latest chapter in America’s long history of dehumanizing xenophobia against Asians and Asian Americans that depicts Asians and Asian Americans as the “yellow peril” and an inherently infectious threat. The xenophobia against Asians has recently been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic during which Asians have been blamed for the global pandemic and the SARS-CoV-2 has been offensively nicknamed the “Chinese virus”, “China Virus”, or “Kung Flu”. The rising xenophobia against Asians has resulted in a series of recent escalating attacks on Asians and Asian Americans.

Racism is a public health crisis, and we all must stand in solidarity with marginalized communities disproportionately affected by discrimination, xenophobia, bigotry, and prejudice. Moreover, systemic racism continues to marginalize people of color, and minimize their suffering. We urge those who read this to educate the people surrounding them about the harm caused by words that perpetuate race-based fearmongering and to evaluate the individual actions we each take to combat racism.

If you have been affected by racism against Asians and Asian Americans and wish to document it, please visit Stop AAPI Hate.

Mental health resources:

Donate to Asian and Asian American communities:

This call to activism was written by Nicole Na, Michele Andrasik, Gail Broder, Linda Oseso, and Stephaun Wallace and endorsed by the Executive Management Team of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network